Journal Article - Elsevier Inc. Energy Research & Social Science

Conceptualizing the above ground factors in shale gas: Toward a research agenda on regulatory governance

| 24 May 2016

Abstract

Stalling progress in European, Chinese and Latin American shale has been attributed to difficult geological formations and lacking data. Yet, ‘above ground’ factors matter in the extractive industries as much as geology. It is policies, regulation and institutional settings that determines the success or failure of a contested, risk bound technology such as fracking. This article suggests that a regulatory governance agenda may offer novel insights into shale gas as a policy phenomenon. The article first provides a critical review of the existing literature on shale gas and identifies the key themes of security, social contestations and socio-economic impact. It then turns to assessing the literature on policy regimes, regulatory competition, regulatory path dependence and regulatory agencies which, it is argued, form essential elements of a research agenda for investigating unconventional gas as a regulatory governance problem. Building on these, the paper sketches focal points of investigations going forward.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Goldthau, Andreass. Conceptualizing the above ground factors in shale gas: Toward a research agenda on regulatory governance.” Energy Research & Social Science, (24 May 2016) .